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Introduction Popocatepetl is a volcano found in Mexico that I have been following for 3 months It is the result of a continental-oceanic plate convergence fig 1 When the oceanic lithosphere the Rivera and Cocos plates collide with the continental lithosphere the North American plate the oceanic plate will descend into the subduction zone Subduction zones generate a lot of igneous magma that rises to the surface to form volcanic mountains I will discuss the geologic history of Popocatepetl the subduction of the Cocos and Rivera plates and the most current eruptions of Popocatepetl Fig 1 Oceanic-continental convergence from Pidwirny 2001 Popocatepetl is a 5465-meter andesitic stratovolcano that is located 1902 degrees north and 9862 degrees west It is approximately 55 km east of Mexico City and 45 km east of Puebla Fig 2 Fig 2 Major Volcanoes of Mexico from USGSCVO 1998 The volcano covers 500 square kilometers and has a 900-meter crater that is 200 meters deep Popocatepetl means Smoking Mountain in the Aztec language of Nahuatl Dunlap 1996 It is the second highest peak in Mexico and is one of the countrys most volatile volcanoes Dunlap 1996 It has had approximately 30 eruptions in historical time mostly mild to moderate Vulcanian eruptions Popocatepetl has also produced several Plinian type eruptions and there are records of at least three enormous ones in the past 5000 years Ray 2001 Subduction of Cocos Rivera Plates Popocatepetl is part of the Trans-Mexico Volcano Belt TMVB fig 3 Volcanic activity related to the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt started during Early stratovolcano Miocene Capral L et al 2000 The TMVB is 1200 kilometers long and goes from the Gulf of California all the way through Central Mexico and meets the Central American Volcano belt near El Chichon a volcano in Chiapas Mexico Johnson 1991 This line of volcanoes is caused by
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